Induction heating is used quite frequently in the steel industry. Induction heating works by heating objects using electromagnetic induction. Induction requires an electromagnet and an electronic oscillator to work. The frequencies used in induction melting vary between fifty cycles per second and 10,000 cycles per second. Induction heating has several applications in the steel melting industry and this article will look at a few of those applications.
- Induction Melting: One application of induction heating is that it can be used to heat metal to its melting point. This is done in an induction melting furnace, which can be used for steel melting and also be used to melt other kinds of metals. Induction heating is considered a cleaner way to melt down metals compared to a reverberatory furnace or a cupola.
- Induction Hardening: Another application of induction heating is that it can be used in a process known as induction hardening. Induction hardening is what takes place when only the surface of the metal is heated through induction and then quenched, which is to say it is rapidly cooled. This process has the effect of dramatically increasing the hardness of the metal. Induction hardening is also frequently used on steel.
- Expanding Items: Induction heating is also used to make an item bigger. This works based on the principle that objects expand when heated. So when an object is heated by induction, though not heated enough to melt, it expands slightly. This allows an item to be fitted to another item. When the metal then cools, it shrinks back, and the two pieces are even more closely bonded together. This happens a lot in the automotive industries, when varies automotive parts are connected to each other during the assembly process.
In conclusion, induction heating has a number of applications in the steel melting industry. These applications include induction melting, which is when induction is used to heat metals, like steel, to their melting point, allowing the liquid metal to be poured into molds to be made into items. Another application is induction hardening, which is when induction is used to heat the surface of a metal before it is quickly cooled down, which hardens the surface of the metal. And a third application involves a process of expansion, where the heat from induction slowly expands the metal before it is joined to another piece of metal. Once the metal shrinks, it is even more closely bonded. These are just a few of the applications of induction in the steel industry.